Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Where Tritonian Pallas delights to join with Vulcan.

There sacrifice. While the people were in doubt what place was intended by these mysterious words, Sostratus concluded that the oracle pointed at Tyre, for Tyre is a land of the Phænicians, and Phønix is the name of a plant, the palm. The sea too almost, but not entirely, goes about it, a narrow neck of land alone joining it to the continent. As to Pallas delighting to join with Vulcan, that is to be understood of the fire which rises in the olive grounds, and burns about the olives.

Choerephon, the colleague of Sostratus in the war, • praised highly this exposition of the oracle, saying,

“ You have well interpreted the answer of the god; and do not wonder at the miracles of fire only; water also has its mysteries, as I myself have seen: there is a fountain in Sicily containing the two elements blended, in which, though the water is cold as snow to the touch, you see a flame dancing on its surface; the water not being able to extinguish the fire, nor the fire to warm the water. In Spain also is a river which either sounds like to a harp or lyre, according to the less or greater vehemence of the wind. Other streams too have their wonders.”

(To be Resumed.)

THE EMPEROR INCOG. The late Emperor of Germany, passing one night along a street in Vienna, on one side of which runs a wall that terminates one of his gardens, perceived a young female, who seemed to be crying to herself. He asked her what gave her so much uneasiness. To this, she made no reply, but sobbed on. He repeated his question. She answered, that it would be of little signification to tell, for he could be of no service to her. “My dress may not promise much ability," returned the emperor, who made, in disguise, but rather a shabby appearance, “but, perhaps, it may, nevertheless, be in my power to remove those tears from your eyes. The emperor still pressing to be informed, the young woman reluctantly acquainted him, that her mother was in the greatest distress and very ill, and that she (the daughter) was then going to raise money on her only remaining clothes, (those she had on her excepted) for their present subsistence. He inquired after her family, and she informed him, that her father was an officer, and died in the service. He asked her if they had no pension. She told him, no. “Why have you not preferred a memorial to the emperor ?” The girl answered, that several had been delivered to a great man, belonging to the court, to be presented by him to the emperor, but they had availed nothing. “Do you think the emperor received them ?” She said, “ There was no doubt of that: but,” continued she, “they say the emperor is a miser.” He told her he had some interest at court, and desired she would come with a memorial in the morning, at ten o'clock, to such a part of the palace, and inquire for such a person: that he would be there, and would recommend her mother's cause in such a manner, as, he doubted not, would be attended with success. The girl hesitated at the proposa). “ I will not deceive you," he returned ; “ go, child, home to your mother; spare your clothes; take this, (giving her three gold ducats), buy yourselves food; and be sure do not disappoint me at ten to-morrow.” They parted: the young woman all amazed, ran home, and recounted her story. The mother wept on the neck of the daughter; the daughter, drowned in tears, hung on that of the mother. The emperor had given the proper orders in the morning for the reception of the young woman. She not coming to her time appointed, he made several impatient inquiries, from that hour to near eleven, to know if she were not yet come. Her staying at home was owing to a delicacy and a fear that she could not account for. Indeed, somebody had suggested to her (on hearing the description of the person who had so generously assisted her, and knowing it was the report, that the emperor sometimes amused himself in excursions of this kind that, perhaps, it might be the emperor himself. By the persuasions of her friends, however, at length, she overcame her difficulties; and, as the clock was striking eleven, she made her appearance at the part of the palace, where she had been directed to. There was a person ready to receive her. She told him her business. “The emperor, madam, has been waiting impatiently for you this hour. The apprehensions instilled into her, now becoming a certainty, and these attended with fears (on account of her having made so free with the character of the prince on the preceding night) at the name of emperor, she was very near fainting; but, presently recovering, her being' arrived was announced, and she was ordered to be introduced. Her sovereign was dressed with more than common elegance and richness, (perhaps for the greater contrast to his appearance the night before. She fell on her knees: she lost all utterance! He condescendingly stooped to raise her up: he bid her be comforted: he asked her for her memorial : she gave it. He made a point of knowing to whom her former memorials were delivered, that he might inform himself of the reason he had never seen them, and prevent such offences to himself and his subjects (these were his words) for the future. “I shall make particular inquiries into the truth of your memorial," said the amiable young monarch, “If I find the assertions are just, and your distresses as represented, tell your mother I shall order a pension, for herself and family, of 400 ducats.' This was too affecting ! she fell at his feet! he raised her a second time. She began withdrawing herself respectfully at a distance, as if departing. “Hold," continued the prince, “take this purse (containing 200 ducats): it is for yourself; and I give it you because you told me I am a miser : let it bear witness for me to the contrary,

A FALSE ALARM.

Lewis BERTON DE GRILLON, a gentleman of Avignon, was as remarkable on account of the peculiarities in his temper, as his intrepidity, which had procured him the name of Dreadnought. The duke of Guise, to whom he had been sent after the reduction of Marseilles, having a mind to try his courage, agreed with some gentlemen to give a sudden alarm before Grillon's quarters, as if the enemy had been masters of the town. At the same time he ordered two horses to the door; and, going up into Grillon's room, told him, all was lost that the enemy were masters of the port and town; that they had forced the guards, and broke and put to flight all that opposed them; that, finding it impossible to resist them any longer, he thought it was better for them to retreat, than by suffering themselves to be taken, and add to the enemy's victory; that he had therefore ordered two horses to be brought, which were ready at the door, and desired he would make haste, for fear they should give the enemy time to surprise them. Grillon was asleep when the alarm was given, and was hardly awake whilst the duke of Guise was saying this to him. However, without being at all disconcerted by so hot an alarm, he called for his clothes and his arms, saying, they ought not, on too light grounds, to give credit to all that was said of the enemy; and, even if the account should prove true, it was more becoming men of honour to die with their arms in their hands, than to survive the loss of the place. The duke not being able to prevail on him to change this resolution, followed him out of the room; but, when they were got half-way down stairs, not being able to contain himself any longer, he burst out a laughing ; by which Grillon discovered the trick that had been played him. He thereupon assumed a look much sterner than when he only thought of going to fight, and, sqeezing the duke's hand, said to him, swearing at the same time (for he always begun his discourse with the most horrible oaths), “ Young man, never make it a jest to try the courage of a man of honour; for, by G-d! hadst thou made me betray any weakness, I would have plunged my dagger in thy heart;" and then left him without saying a word more.

THE FLOWER OF CHIVALRY.

In the war carried on by Louis XII. of France against the Venetians, the town of Brescia being taken by storm, and abandoned to the soldiers, suffered for seven days, all the distresses of cruelty and avarice. No house escaped but where chevalier Bayard was lodged. At his entrance, the mistress, a woman of figure, fell at his feet, and deeply sobbing, “ Oh! my lord, save my life; save the honours of my daughters.” “ Take courage, madam ;" said the chevalier : “your life and their honour, shall be secure while I have life.” The two young ladies, brought from their hidingplace, were presented to him; and the family, thus reunited, bestowed their whole attention on their deliverer. A dangerous wound he had received, gave them opportunity to express their zeal; they employed a notable surgeon ; they at tended him by turn, day and night; and when he could bear to be amused, they entertained him with concerts of music. Upon the day fixed for his departure, the mother said to him, “ To your goodness, my lord, we owe our lives, and to

you, all that we have belongs by right of war; but we hope from your signal benevolence that this slight tribute will content you.” (placing upon the table an iron coffer full of money.) “What is the sum ?" said the chevalier. “My lord,” answered she trembling, “ no more but two thousand five hundred ducats, all that we have; but if more be necessary we will try our friends.” “Madam,” said he, “ I never shall forget your kindness, more precious in my eyes, than a hundred thousand ducats. Take back your money, and depend always on me.” “My good lord, you kill me, to refuse this small sum; take it only as a mark of your friendship to my family.” “Well,” said he, “ since it will oblige you, I take the money; but give me the satisfaction of bidding adieu to your amiable daughters.” They came to him with looks of regard and affection. “Ladies," said he, “ the impression you have made on my heart, will never wear out. What return to make, I know not; for men of my profession are seldom opulent: but here are two thousand five hundred ducats, of which the generosity of your mother has given me the disposal. Accept them as a marriage present; and may your happiness in marriage, be equal to your merit.” “Flower of chivalry !" cried the mother, “may the God who suffered death for us, reward you here and heren

after.”

A DUKE'S FROLIC.

The Duke of Montague was no less remarkable for his wit and humour, than for his whims and frolics, which he conducted with a dexterity and address peculiar to himself; as will appear from the following adventure:-Soon after the conclusion of the peace in 1748, he had observed, that a middle-aged man, in something like a military dress, of which the lace was much tarnished, and the cloth worn thread-bare, appeared, at a certain hour in the Park, walking to and fro in the Mall, with a kind of mournful solemnity, or ruminating by himself on one of the benches, without taking any more notice of the gay crowd that was moving before him, than of so many emmets on an ant-hill, or atoms dancing in the sun. This man the duke singled out as likely to be a fit object for a frolic. He began, therefore, by making some inquiry concerning him, and soon learnt, that he was an unfurtunate, poor creature, who, having laid out

« AnteriorContinuar »